If you’re reading this and know that your old habits are hard to break, then it’s time to take a new approach and spruce up your workout routine! A fitness makeover could be just the thing you need to get motivated and excited about getting fit. Some changes may seem simple, but when it comes to getting fitter and healthier, even the small changes can make a big difference. It’s time to establish new healthy habits that’ll lead to positive results!
- Write it down
Set yourself 3 specific goals that you want to achieve, and write them down. Make sure you have a way of monitoring your progress, such as weighing yourself or taking measurements.
The more specific your goal, the better. If you’re new to activity, start small. Be practical and realistic about your goals, and whatever they are, write them down. So many people have told me that they’ve been more able to achieve what they set out to achieve, once they have specific goals and can track their journey. The more opportunities you create to measure and log your success throughout the year, the better the chance you have of making a lifestyle change.
- Forget about yesterday
It’s time to let go of any failed diet and fitness plans of the past and get your mind engaged with the present. Now that you’ve written down your goals, move forward with them. Once you make a commitment to being present in today’s choices, your journey to success will be smoother. When you wake up each morning, tell yourself that today is the only day that counts (even if you derailed your diet the night before). No more promises of ‘it starts tomorrow’. Accomplish what matters to you most TODAY.
- Mix it up
If you always workout in the morning, try to add in at least one afternoon workout session per week, or vice-versa. Sometimes your body needs to be pushed out of its usual routine, and you may even find that a particular time works better for you than you originally thought. We are all individuals whose bodies perform better at different times, so experiment to find the time of day that you feel most awake and with the most energy. You never know – you may find that you push yourself more, burn more calories and get more benefit from your workout.
When you get stuck into a repetitive routine, you often tune out mentally and become less productive with the task at hand. Try to keep your body guessing by doing new activities, changing your workout style, having fun with a new exercise partner or by adding in a weekly fitness challenge. Having fun with your fitness means you’re more likely to look forward to it and stick with your plan.
- Increase your intensity
Who says you need to spend hours in the gym to reach your fitness goals? Keep your workouts short and sweet, or more accurately short and sweaty! At least 2 days per week, perform an interval-style workout that pushes you to get out of breath. When your intensity level is high, your sessions can be kept as short as 15-30 minutes in length. This is perfect for those with a busy schedule, or who think they do not have enough time to exercise. No more excuses!
- Add weights
Short, effective workouts should be your new approach to fitness, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. Building lean muscle mass should be an essential part of any weight loss or weight gaining programme. If you are already using weights in your fitness routine, why not try to increase them? If you’re just getting started, be sure you are using a comfortable weight that allows you to maintain good form. Don’t be afraid of bulking up from lifting heavy weights: I believe that lifting very light weights that don’t feel challenging for many reps is simply a waste of your precious time!
- Stay active
Scheduled rest days are essential to allow your body to recover from the stresses that exercising places on it. Many people misunderstand the concept of a rest day. This doesn’t mean that you spend the entire day just sitting still; your aim on a rest day should be to reduce the stress from lifting weights or doing high impact exercises, but not stop moving completely. Everyone should strive to be active everyday, for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. Fill your rest days with fun activities like a bike ride, hiking or swimming, and choose low-impact activities so that you’re still burning extra calories, but not burning yourself out.
My aim is to help you maximise your workout time and find a programme that works for you. I hope my 6 steps give you a refreshed approach to fitness. Good luck!